Tuesday, January 13, 2015

New Year...Big Project Finished!

The last couple of months were quite hectic at our home. We had a slight issue when our new gas fireplace started a fire in the exterior wall of our new home. Everyone is fine and the restoration process continues at a snail's pace.

Fortunately I had finished, and delivered, a big project I had been working on for my brother and his wife to give to their first grandchild. They had saved their daughter's baby clothes with the plan to make a quilt when she had her first child. I was able to participate in the gift by creating a scrap quilt from that clothing.

If you have a similar project in mind this may be helpful to you.

I started with the bag of baby and toddler clothes.

Baby clothes are made from a variety of fabrics, many of them stretchy and of varying weights. They also are small, so between the many seams and baby stains, the usable pieces are limited. I decided the perfect answer to finding a quilt pattern that would work was to search my scrap quilt books. I found a basic pattern that I liked and then modified it to fit what I wanted for the end product.

I decided to use a pattern that incorporated a variety of blocks. All were cut to a 6.5 inch size with a quarter inch seam allowance. For the super stretchy fabrics I made a foundation base of a plain white cotton and marked the strip lines. This allowed me to cut those stretchy pieces...

...and then pin them down and sew them without a lot of movement.

There were some awfully cute parts to some of the clothes that I decided could not be cut apart or left out, so I made some blocks that were either a full 6.5 inch cut of fabric, or as in this example, I cut out the bibbed part and then stitched it onto a piece of white cotton.

One additional block I used was to cut a heart shaped piece of fabric, center it on a 6.5 inch piece of white cotton and machine applique the heart. You can see those blocks in this photo. I used the same white cotton for the triangle setting blocks.

I really wanted to include hand quilting, but you can imagine what it would be like to hand quilt through the fabrics found in baby clothes! So, I compromised and machine quilted in the ditch between all of the blocks.

Then, I hand quilted in the borders and in the triangle setting blocks.

There were several t-shirts that I wanted to include but they were too large for the 6.5 inch blocks, so I incorporated them into the backing. You will see that I made sure to position them where there would be machine quilting. Hand quilting through t-shirt fabric would have been difficult! You will see in the lower right hand corner the quilt label. Always remember to include one on any quilt you make.

And here is the finished product!

My brother and his wife saved the clothing for their other two children as well, so I look forward to those future projects!